Dialog Box

A million metres for melanoma at PA

There is an epic event happening in June at the PA Hospital, and it promises to be a difference maker in the fight against a disease that affects thousands of Australians a year, melanoma.

The A Million metres for Melanoma team are ready to raise vital funds and reclaim their own rowing world record at the PA this June.

A team of 10 committed fundraisers, nine of whom are doctors passionate about finding solutions for melanoma, will not only try to raise a quarter of a million dollars, but also attempt to reclaim their own rowing world record as well.

The event which is part of the ‘A Million Metres for Melanoma’ campaign will see the team take on the challenge of rowing for 60 hours from June 22-24 in the foyer of the PA Hospital where a number of the team are based for work. In doing so they will try to reclaim their own ergo rowing challenge world record they set while raising funds for melanoma in 2016.

The team is led by PA Hospital based surgeon Dr Chris Conyard who formed the team after the loss of his sister Phoebe Eales to melanoma in 2015.

“In April 2014, 31 year old Phoebe had a mole removed at a regular skin check. It was melanoma. Five months later, while holidaying in South America, Phoebe felt a lump in her neck. It was melanoma,” he said.

“This pattern continued with countless check-ups, radiation, immunotherapy, and scans and ended in November 2015 with this aggressive melanoma taking her life.

“One of Phoebe’s final conversations with myself was that something needed to be done to give people more of a chance and A Million Metres for Melanoma was born.

“Less than 12 months later, with the help of 11 mates, over $135,000 had been raised for melanoma and a rowing world record was broken. I know Phoebe would have been proud.”

The A Million Metres for Melanoma team has also completed a running challenge as part of their campaign, which has seen them raise close to $500,000 for melanoma research. This year’s world record attempt will hope to raise $250,000 for the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute’s Dermatology Research Centre via the PA Research Foundation. The research team is hoping to use the funds to advance their research on melanoma which uses the Vectra 3D Whole Body Imaging Machine to map patients’ skin and identify potential melanomas and skin cancers.

“We have previously raised close to $500K and broken two endurance world records. A rowing record in 2016 and running in 2019,” Chris said. We are rowing again this time as our previous rowing world record was broken by some Dutch ex-Olympic rowers and we want the record back.”

“There are a few of us in the team who are working at the PA, I am an Orthopaedic Surgeon, Adam Parr is an Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon, Simon van Rosendal is an Orthopaedic Registrar and Nathan Schaefer is a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. Our goal is to raise $250K.”

With melanoma set to impact the lives of over 16,870 Australians this year, Dr Conyard said he hopes the team’s efforts provide people facing a melanoma diagnosis with some reassurance for the future.

“People who have been diagnosed with melanoma have been dealt a card that is completely out of their control, we’re working hard through our group to improve the chance of a positive outcome for them despite the hand they’ve been dealt.”

You can donate to the A Million Metres for Melanoma campaign here 

06 April 2022
Category: News
Tags: #Melanoma,